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Adventures in Odyssey: Facts and Background

Contact: Carrie Kintz
[email protected]

Adventures in Odyssey (AIO), a weekly radio drama for children of all ages, aired its first episode on Nov. 21, 1987. The beginnings of this popular drama are humble:  At Thanksgiving time in 1983, the leaders of the daily broadcast team at Focus on the Family had to decide what to do for their Christmas program. One producer said to another, “Why don’t we produce a radio drama?”

This first episode, “Spare Tire,” got the ball rolling and other dramas soon followed. The shows were so popular that Focus decided to give the fledgling radio drama its own timeslot. Now 25 years later, the AIO team is still generating compelling and compassionate stories about a small town called Odyssey and its ice cream emporium, “Whit’s End.”

Here are several notable facts about AIO:

  • AIO airs in 45 countries, and in three languages: English, Spanish, plus a live action television series in Hindi.
  • AIO reaches more than 2 million households each week, airing on 2,115 radio facilities in the U.S. alone, as well as being streamed online.
  • More than 20 million CDs and cassettes have been sold worldwide. The series also spawned 17 videos, nearly three dozen novels, video games, music albums and more.
  • AIO is one of the longest running radio dramas in history.
  • If you listened to AIO from its inception, it would take 12 days, six hours, 51 minutes, and 19 seconds to reach the latest episodes.
  • Thousands of actors have played the characters, including recognizable names such as Hal Smith (Otis Campbell on The Andy Griffith Show). Others have hailed from popular cartoons such as The Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb.
  • Focus on the Family’s Welcome Center receives an estimated 250,000 guests from all 50 states and more than 100 countries each year. Many of these visitors come to see Whit’s End Soda Shoppe and a play area dedicated to Adventures in Odyssey. This space includes a variety of interactive AIO activities, including the Kids’ Radio recording studio that allows children to perform a radio program from a written Odyssey script.

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